Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Judson-Atkinson Sours

Judson Atkinson's Cherry SoursI’ve gotten a few emails about a favorite candy that some readers have, they’re simply called Cherry Sours, made by Texas-based company Judson-Atkinson Candies.

Judson Candies was started in 1899 by E.J. Jenner who later brought J.W. Judson in as a partner in 1910. Judson later bought him out and renamed the company. Most notably Judson developed the “more tart jelly bean” in the 1930s, which is the chewy sour ball that we all know today from so many different companies. Judson Candies was then purchased in 1983 by the Atkinson family (already a popular company in Texas with the Chick-o-Stick) and renamed Judson-Atkinson Candies.

Judson Atkinson's Assorted SoursI was hesitant to pick up a whole box of Cherry Sours (but ended up being given this box as a sample at All Candy Expo), so I was pretty happy when I stumbled across these little packets of Assorted Sours at the 99 Cent Only Store.

They do look like little gumdrops with a bright jelly bean coating.

The bag holds a variety of five flavors. Though the package design is a little, I don’t know, elementary-school looking. If you can’t make it out here in the photo, there’s a lemon about to slam dunk a cherry (who seems pretty happy about it) and a green apple off to one side waving his arms like he’s open (as if the lemon is gonna pass it to him and not do his dunk?).

All that aside, what’s inside is a candy that I think pleases all ages.

Judson-Atkinson's Sours

Each sour ball has a crunchy, crumbly candy shell like a jelly bean. The center is lightly flavored and colored. The outside is really brightly colored.

Green Apple has both the artificial chemical “invented” green apple flavor and a nice hint of real apple juice flavors. It’s not terribly tart, but certainly flavorful from start to finish.

Lemon has a bit of a powdery lemon flavor, like lemonade mix at first, which then mellows out into a rather nice zesty lemon. Not sour.

Tangerine was the one I looked forward to the most, as I love tangerine candies. It was similar to the lemon, it tasted more like tang than tangerine, but a little more on the tangy side.

Cherry is what Judson-Atkinson is known for. These taste like tangy, chewy Cherry Lifesavers. After the tartness goes away, it’s a little more medicinal than floral.

Grape is the one that really bugged me (really, I was fine with Cherry). It reminded me of violets and those scented magic markers more than grapes or grape candy. While the apple had real apple-ness to it, this one just felt more like too much red food coloring. Luckily there weren’t that many of them in my assortment.

The centers are very firm, but extremely smooth, probably because they use both corn starch and tapioca to give them a extra jelled texture.

I would love to see what they could do for Pineapple and Grapefruit ... maybe Lime. (A Blue Raspberry exists, but isn’t in this mix and a Tropical but that features Pina Colada, Peach, Mango, Watermelon & Fruit Punch.)

The ingredients list lots of artificial colors: Yellow #5 & #6, Red #3 & #40, Blue #2 and Carmine (which makes these unsuitable for vegetarians/vegans).

Related Candies

  1. Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans
  2. Wonka Nerds Jelly Beans
  3. Sour Jujyfruits
  4. Jelly Belly - All Natural
  5. Black Ace Licorice
  6. Sour Bloops
Name: Assorted Sours
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Judson-Atkinson Candies (owned by Atkinson's)
Place Purchased: 99 Cent Only Store
Price: $.39
Size: 2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 105
Categories: Jelly, United States, Atkinson's

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:05 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Are these also sold in bulk bins? I feel as though I know exactly what these are but have never seen them distributed in a box like that.

    Comment by Sania on 4/23/08 at 12:06 pm #
  2. They look just like Narbles, at least from the photo. Could they secretly be the same thing?

    Comment by Rosa on 4/23/08 at 3:04 pm #
  3. mmm, this is one of my favorite candies ever! (just the cherry ones, but i’ll eat all of the fruits if i gotta.)

    Comment by pam on 4/24/08 at 5:31 am #
  4. Cherry Sours are the BEST!!!  Wal-Mart quit selling them and I can’t find them anywhere now!  I am going to order them online.

    Comment by Katy on 7/31/08 at 1:32 pm #
  5. Cherry Sours are priced right and taste great!  Soldier in Kuwait.

    Comment by Paul Boak on 10/15/08 at 3:59 am #
  6. These are the best cherry sours! Anytime I go into a candy store or convenience store and buy other “generic” cherry sours, I am always disappointed. This is the taste I remember as a kid growing up. But it didn’t have the same packaging as what is described here; it was just a clear bag with red black and white lettering from what I remember.

    Comment by Brenda on 7/27/09 at 12:55 pm #
  7. Does anyone know where/if these can be gotten without red dye?

    Comment by Jon on 2/05/13 at 1:27 am #
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